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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

YALC!


Sorry, this is going to be a long one.


Amidst all of the nerdy goodness that was London Film and Comic Con there was YALC! The UK’s first ever Young Adult Literature Con! A Whole con devoted to YA Literature! When a close friend of mine mentioned this to me I was very intrigued! Though I don’t solely read YA, (though I read a lot of YA), I do love it! Sorry, enough of the exclamation marks now.

I spent most of the day walking around in awe of everything. The LFCC itself was Nerd Heaven, a Geek’s Paradise if you will. I loved it. But then I got to the YALC section and I was blown away! Books, books, books everywhere! (Again with the exclamations marks, I do apologise). I arrived as early as I possibly could and queued to get tickets with a friend and fellow blogger. We got early bird tickets (for that I am grateful because it got crazy busy later on), and away we went. Our first point of call was YALC, of course, and we took the time to look around at the awesome, including the freebie stand, filled with bookmarks, postcards, book sample, posters, badges, wristbands, it was spectacular. My first signing was for a while so I decided to sign up for a couple of the workshops. These were; Writing HIstorical Fiction, and The Art of Blogging. There were limited places for the workshops so we all narrowed down by a lottery system.

I then wandered around some more, spoke to a couple of more bloggers, (including book blogger/author Alice Oseman), saw a couple of friends, bought some books to be signed, and looked around the LFCC itself, it was glorious. I have to admit though the whole event was hectic, purely because of the sheer amount of people there, so props to the people who ran it, it was crazy!


(The lovely Alice Oseman with her new book, Solitaire, coming out on the 31st July).

So after my fangirling had died somewhat, I went to see if I had gotten into my first workshop, and I had! The talk was given by Catherine Johnson, a YA Historical Novelist, so of course, my love of history me to her workshop. I have wanted to write historical fiction, which though I have done has never been edited or submitted for publishing as yet, so was very interested to see what someone with actual experience in doing so would advise. I have to admit I had never heard of her, (a reflection on my reading not her writing I am sure), but I am so glad to have been introduced to her, her books sound like my cup of tea, and I can not wait to read them. Catherine herself was lovely, I got to chat to her a little later on and she was such a pleasure to talk to, so friendly. The talk itself was inspiring and invigorating, she is so passionate about writing and history, had some good advice to pass onto us. Unfortunately her talk was in the main convention hall, which as already pointed out was ludicrously busy, so we all straining to her despite her practically yelling, something we bemoaned about when I spoke to her later. I honestly do not know why the workshops weren’t in a separate room, or why she wasn’t given a microphone or something! Those beyond the second row could hardly hear a thing. I felt bad for those who had signed up for the talk only to not be able to hear what Johnson was saying. She even apologized to me personally later on when I got my book (Sawbones) signed.

Since I was at LFCC I was also hoping to meet a couple of the actors that were in attendance but after trying a few times I gave up, every time I went they were just too busy. So I went to the get a drink because I was boiling by this point and hadn’t eaten. I wanted to meet Malorie Blackman at this, I love her Noughts and Crosses  series so much, but again she was just too busy, the queue was ridiculous and it would have meant I would have missed Rainbow Rowell, and she was signing again later so thought it would be best to try again then.

So I joined the already huge queue for the Rainbow Rowell signing. I had read Fangirl and Eleanor and Park and had bought her other two book Attachments and Landline earlier that day. I do not think there have many other times in my life where I have ever been as excited I was then, I adored both of the books I had by her and I really wanted to meet the woman who had these incredible books. I queued for the best part of an hour and it was worth it! She was so lovely! She even thanked me for waiting, she thanked me! Sadly our time was brief, but special, (at least to me, I can’t speak for Miss Rowell), because she was popular they had to move on as quickly as possible, which is a shame. I can not describe the feeling I had waiting in line to meet an author that I fell for fast, surrounded by people who love these books as much as I do, I got emotional, I am not going to lie. I don’t always know what to say to authors, I usually come up with something (though when I met J.K Rowling all I said was ‘Loved the book, thanks, bye’, literally, that was it, I was just stunned), so I just complimented her top and asked her how she was, thanked her, the usual, she was just wonderful, and so patient!

After Rainbow Rowell I got a book signed by Frances Hardinge. I bought her book Cuckoo Song a while ago after being recommended it by a friend, but hadn’t had a chance to read by this point, but it was still good to meet her and get it signed. I also saw Patrick Ness and Marcus Sedgwick who I also wanted to meet and get books signed by but they both cut into my Rainbow Rowell so sadly was not meant to be, and neither was the Malorie Blackman signing which was also too busy, I was already exhausted from being up since half 4 that morning and a lot of travelling, and I hadn’t eaten, so it just wasn’t going to happen, but I did get to see CJ Skuse, Andy Robb, Andrew Lane, (who I have met before), Charlie Higson, Holly Bourne and Natasha Ngan.

So although I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to I had an awesome and met some awesome people, thanks to the organisers, you did an amazing job!

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